Warner Bros./Warner Bros. .
R4 . COLOR . 123 mins .
PG . PAL
When you're on a good thing, stick to it. In this case though, a change of directors midway through the making of the movie was, in the end, detrimental to the vision that Richard Donner had with the original. If Richard Lester had had Superman III and IV in his resume before taking the reins of Superman II, he surely wouldn't have gotten the job.
An American Icon
We begin the journey in Paris where a band of terrorists are about to blow up the Eiffel Tower with some large amounts of explosives. Who better to cover the story than Lois Lane herself, and who better to save her booty than the Man of Steel, Superman? In doing so, by tossing the rigged elevator into space, he inadvertantly causes an explosion that releases the three Kryptonian criminals from their banishment into the Phantom Zone and they are soon on their way to Earth.
"General, would you care to step outside?!"
Three criminals, from the planet Krypton, each having the same power that Superman exhibits, each with a desire to rule the world and destroy the son of Jorel in the process. To make matters worse, Lois finds out that Clark Kent is Superman (those glasses do wonders for a disguise), and Superman volntarily loses his super powers to be mortal and live with the one he loves.
Talk about a bad day at the office. Will Clark be killed? Will Lex rule Australia? Will the city of Metropolis be destroyed? Will Superman return? Will there be two more sequels that just take the franchise to lows lower than Batman and Robin?
Where the original received a freshly cleaned and polished transfer and a souped up 5.1 Dolby Digital sound remix, the sequel suffers from a case of Fixus Ignorus Stufferuptus. What we do receive here is a decent anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer that is pretty clean, but still suffers the same fate as the dated laserdisc transfer in that it isn't dynamic enough to exhibit any real oomph in the image. The blacks are mediocre and flat at times and the brighter areas suffer from being washed out. In all it is a dull looking image that was crying out for some Super Special treatment.
In the sound department, a two channel surround encoded soundtrack provides little in the way of sonic fidelity to really captivate the viewer like the first one did. The sound effects sound dated in comparison and the musical score, not conducted by the great John Williams, sounds rushed and off queue at times. You could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a comedic impersonator at times.
In the extras department we are blessed with an anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 trailer and a cast/crew page that is basically a snapshot of the first parts of the credits screen, static, not-selectable in any way. And that is it. Not Super at all.
What remains is still a good movie, a worthy sequel even if the original footage or plot direction hasn't been used. It is often argued as to which is the better movie of the two with action buffs preferring the second whilst purists and fans of great cinema enjoy the first.